AVAILABILITY AND UTILIZATION OF EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES IN INFLUENCING STUDENTS PERFORMANCE IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS
This study set out to examine the influence of Educational resources provision, and utilization on students’ academic performance in public and private secondary schools in Surulere Local Education Area of Lagos State. The sample consisted of eight school principals, 80 secondary school teachers an 80 secondary school students selected through simple random sampling technique. The research instrument titled “Educational Resources and Students’ Performance Questionnaire” (ERSPQ) was developed. To guide the study, five null hypotheses were postulated and statistically tested using the t-test and the Pearson product Moment Correlation Coefficient. The following findings emerged from the study: There was a significant difference in the provision and utilization of physical, material resources and utilization of human resources in public and private secondary schools sampled; availability of educational resources has strong positive relationship with students’ academic performance; availability of human resources has significant relationship with students’ academic performance in private secondary schools but not in the public secondary schools; There is a significant difference between the performances of students of public and private secondary schools in the three core subjects (English language, mathematics and Biology) in the Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (SSCE); students of private secondary schools who were exposed to environment rich in educational resources recorded a very high performance rate while students of public secondary schools who are exposed to environment less endowed with educational resources recorded very low performance rate. Based on the findings, some recommendations were made to government, school administrators, parents, teachers and students that could help to improve students’ academic performances especially in our public secondary schools.
1.1 Background to the Study
The important role being played by education in the long-term development of the individual and the society can be appreciated when one considers the amount of money invested by various governments and individuals. Education is a process of human upbringing that involves formal, informal and non-formal acquisition of knowledge, attitude ad skills for the positive growth of the individual and the society to which the individual belongs.
It is the process of training and developing the knowledge, skills, minds and characters of people. It is the process by which the latent abilities of individuals are developed so that they may be useful to themselves and the society at large.
The attempt to perpetuate this fundamental change brought about the idea of public education and subsequently, the question of sponsorship, and investment by government into education came up. In most cases, planning, financing and control of education is the prerogative of most of the government of the day.
The national policy on education 1989 (revised) has the general objectives for the Nigerian educational system, which includes the following:
Inculcation of the right type of values and attitudes for the survival of individual and the Nigeria society;
Training of the mind in the understanding of the world around; Acquisition of appropriate skills, abilities and competences both in mental and physical as equipment for the individual to live in and contribute to the development of his society.
Each level of Nigeria educational system has been designed to pursue specific goals. The National Policy on Education set out the aims of secondary Education in Nigeria as: Preparation (of the youths) for useful living within the society and preparation for higher education.
From these broad aims, the secondary education level has been assigned the more specific functions to:
Provide an increasing number of primary school pupils with the opportunity for education of a higher quality, irrespective of sex, or social, religious and ethnic background;
Diversify its curriculum to cater for the differences in talents, opportunities and roles possessed by or open to students after their secondary school course;
Equip students to love effectively in our modern age of science and technology;
Develop and project Nigeria culture, art and language as well as world’s cultural heritage;
Raise a generation of people who can think of others, respect the dignity of labour, and appreciate those national aims and live as good citizens foster Nigeria Unite with emphasis on the common ties that unite us in our diversity; and
Inspire its students with a desire for achievement and self-improvement both at school and in later life.
The broad national objectives of Nigeria educational system and the broad aims of secondary education seem not separable from the board goals of Nigeria education which seek to achieve:
· A free and democratic society
· A just and egalitarian society
· A united strong and self reliant nation;
· A great and dynamic economy; and
· A land of full opportunities for all citizens.
In Nigeria today, the importance of education in national development cannot be over emphasized. The belief in the efficacy of school education has resulted in government’s increasing commitment to the establishment of schools resulting in expansion of school enrollment at all levels of the nation’s educational system. (Abdulkareem, 2003).
Education being the most important instrument of change in the intellectual and social outlook of any society calls for the improvement of all aspects that aid educational; achievement of students.
Educational institutions at all levels therefore, have witnessed an upsurge in their number and enrolment figures. The rise can be attributed to the rate of population growth in the country and the increasing awareness for education among the Nigerian populace.
Out of the various shades and meanings of the term ‘Secondary Education; Imogie (1984) based his definition on 1977 National Policy on Education specifications and define secondary education in Nigeria as the form of education given to children after primary education and before the tertiary stage of education. He further observed that, secondary education in Nigeria has become a huge venture particularly since the 1970s. Secondary education in Nigeria is characterised by six-years programme to be split into two stages, the junior Secondary School (JSS) and the Senior Secondary School (SSS) each with a duration of three-years.
The split commenced in most of the states in the federation in 1982. There has been a phenomenal increase in the number of secondary schools both public and private owned especially since the 1980s. There is also diversified curricula, both in scope and in content as well as shortage in the supply of instructional equipments, materials and facilities.
Educational resources, which serve as input into the educational system have direct influence on the quality of student’s academic achievement. In essence, there is need for critical analysis with regards to the quality, quantity and adequacy of educational resources (Human, Materials, Financial, Physical) if the broad national aims and objectives and goals of education has to be achieved.
All secondary schools in Nigeria irrespective of their location or owners (public or private) are expected to function in compliance with stated educational objectives as spelt out in the National Policy on Education. Then, if all secondary schools (public or private) in Nigeria are expected to achieve the same objectives, adequate quantity and quality of resources commensurate to the needs of the individual school and students should be provided.
But, with Nigeria educational system general and Lagos State in particular, educational resources are not provided for secondary schools of need basis. More so that, it is believed in many quarters that the standard of education in Nigeria is falling especially when people who had their education decades ago look back nostalgically to those ‘good old times’.
Today, enrollment in primary and secondary schools is explosive, and doubled the facilities available. The number of secondary schools is more than what most states’ governments could cope with. However, because of the socio-political implication, the only option open to be states and federal governments is to embark on massive expansion of educational resources.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The low performance of students at the Senior Secondary School Certificate and the General Certificate in Education (GCE) examination especially by students of public secondary school in Lagos State brings about worries among parents, guardians students, government, educators and the school itself. Moreso, because of the huge investment on secondary education.
It becomes pertinent that factors responsible for such low performances be investigated especially because students in private secondary schools within the same state and locality record better performances it the same examination. It is very obvious that classrooms in Lagos State public schools are usually overcrowded with over 100 students in a class originally meant for about 40 students.
Many of the school buildings and structures are dilapidated. Physical and material resources appeared not to be adequate. Most of the students in the public schools lack basic textbooks in English, Mathematics, Biology and most of the relevant school subjects. It is however observed that teachers available to private schools are not necessarily better in quantity and quality than those of the public secondary schools in the state.
This study will therefore look into the influence of educational resources on students’ performance in public and private secondary schools within the study area.
1.3 Purpose OF Study
This study is aimed at:
Investigating the provision and utilization of educational resources (physical, Human, Financial, Materials and Educational Resources Centres) in public and private secondary schools in the study area:
Finding out the adequacy or otherwise of education resources in the area under study;
Finding out any possible disparity in the provision of educational resources in public and private secondary schools in the area under study; and
Examining the extent of relationship between the quantity and quality of educational resources and students’ academic performance.
1.4 Research Questions
This study provided answers to the following questions:
Is there any disparity in the provision of educational resources in public and private secondary school?
Are teachers in public secondary schools less qualified than teachers in private secondary schools?
Of what use is the adequacy of educational resources to students’ academic performance?
Why do students of private secondary schools perform better in the same examination (SSCE) than students of public secondary schools?
1.5 Research Hypotheses
The following hypotheses postulated to guide the study:
v There is no significant difference in the provision and utilization of physical resources in public and private secondary schools in the study area:
v There is no significant difference in the provision and utilization of materials resources in public and private secondary schools;
v There is no significant difference in the availability of human resources in public and private secondary schools in the study area;
v There is no significant relationship between the availability of educational resources and students’ academic performance;
v There is no significant difference in the performances of students of public and private secondary schools in the three core subjects (English Language, Mathematics and Biology).
1.6 Significant of the Study
This study would help to update information about the role of educational resources in the achievement of stated educational goals and objectives, particularly in secondary schools in Lagos State.
The information thus discovered would be an eye-opener to parents and guardians on the impact of educational resources on students’ academic performance in secondary schools.
This study would also help educational managers (principals, proprietors, and proprietresses) to know the areas where these resources are inadequate and how to judiciously, effectively and efficiently utilize the available ones. It would help to improve the quality of education in the state and it is hoped that findings would further reveal more areas for possible research studies.
1.7 Scope and Limitation of the Study
Although the problem of the ability of effectively and efficiently achieve intended educational goals and objectives through adequate provision and utilization of educational resources is a national one, it is not possible for the researcher to investigate the whole country in search of the relationship of the adequacy or otherwise of educational resources on secondary schools students’ academic performance. In this regard, Surulere Local Education Area (LEA) of Lagos State has been chosen as the population. Similarly, it is not possible to visit all the secondary schools in Surulere Local Education Area (LEA) because of certain constraints including time and finance hence some public and private secondary schools were selected for study
In the process of visiting these schools, the researcher will attempt to examine the availability and utilization of educational resources in public and private secondary schools in the study area and the extent to which such educational resources can affect students’ academic performance.
Also, questionnaires will be administered to school principals, teachers and students of the secondary schools under study. Data on the academic performance of students will be collected from school records. The researcher will also conduct an extensive review of literature by consulting existing body of knowledge related to the study.
1.8 Definition of Terms
Educational resources are the sum total of the input that goes into the educational system.
This refers to the rate of success in an examination. Throughout this study, the term ‘students’ Academic Performance shall be interpreted as meaning gains made by students in the SSCE results in five subjects including Mathematics, English Language and Biology.